Any gardener will tell you that one of the most frustrating pests to deal with is slugs. They cause damage across the garden, eating anything remotely leafy and green and can be a real challenge to get rid of. That’s why we have compiled our list of the best natural slug repellents.
Although slug pellets can be effective in the garden, they are damaging to the planet and to other animals so are something we would strongly recommend avoiding.
Instead, try some of the options listed below. These are some of the best natural slug repellents you can use in the garden:
The first repellant on our list is something that is easily accessible. Coffee grounds are found anywhere, and if you have your own coffee machine at home, can be a free byproduct of making a morning cuppa.
Slugs do not like the smell of coffee. You can use coffee grounds by sprinkling some of them on the soil. Coffee grounds also add goodness to the soil as they are rich in nutrients, especially nitrogen.
One of the best ways to repel slugs and protect your plants is to make your garden unattractive for these slimy pests.
You can use leftover eggshells from your breakfast, crush them and sprinkle them on the soil. Slugs prefer smooth surfaces which help them glide. When you put crushed eggshells in the soil, this will make it uncomfortable for slugs to glide through the garden.
Therefore, the slugs will be sure to keep away from your plants. However, this can only protect some plants and will simply move the slugs from one part of your garden to another. It’s also not proven to be 100% effective with some slugs simply ignoring it.
One of the best slug repellants is diatomaceous earth. This repellent not only has sharp edges, which makes it uncomfortable for slugs to move across but is great at killing them. To ensure that this works well, you will need to reapply it because the rain can wash it away.
You may have heard about copper and how it works to deter slugs. Copper reacts with the slime in slugs and gives them an electric jolt. Therefore, many gardeners like to use copper tape on their pots to deter slugs.
In addition, you can also use copper mesh to protect plants. You can also get individual copper bracelets for vulnerable plants which are placed around the base of the plant. The copper bracelet expands as the plant grows, so you do not have to worry about it.
You can also trap slugs by creating your own beer traps. Making beer traps is easy. You only need a plastic container and some beer. You need to ensure that the hole you create in the container is big enough for the slug to go through.
The beer simply attracts slugs towards it, and they try to taste it, drop into the slug trap and subsequently drown.
A way to repel slugs and keep them away from your plants is to create rough terrain that slugs might avoid crawling across. You can use gravel or sharp sand. Bark can also be effective in some cases.
Hand Pick Slugs
If you spot only a few slugs in your garden, you can handpick them from your plants and pots and dispose of them in the bin.
It can understandly be uncomfortable for some people to handpick slugs because of the slime factor. However, you can always wear gloves if you do not want to touch slugs directly.
Remember that slugs are most active as it gets dark so head out into the garden with your headtorch attached and look for the slugs at night – don’t worry about what your neighbours might think!
Introduce Natural Predators
Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your garden is let nature take its course. You can introduce natural predators like frogs, hedgehogs, and birds to your gardens. These predators help control the slug population.
The key is to make your garden attractive by adding birdhouses, food for hedgehogs and a garden pond for frogs.
Like beer, slugs are attracted heavily towards citrus, and therefore you can use them to trap slugs. The next time you have citrus fruit, you can take the peels and place them in your garden.
The next morning you will see slugs have gathered around the citrus peels and near them. Then, you can collect the slugs and discard them.
When we spot slugs in our garden, our first instinct is to use pellets. You can use woollen pellets instead, which are organic and still get the job done. These won’t harm other wildlife, pets or child.
Water in the Morning
Your watering habits can have an effect on the slug population in your garden. Slugs thrive in a moist environment. Therefore, when you water in the evening, you give them the perfect, wet soil to glide on.
Watering in the morning will ensure that the soil is a bit dry by the time slugs come out during the night.
You can repel slugs in your garden by planting herbs that have a strong scent. Slugs do not like the smell of herbs like sage, thyme, parsley and rosemary.
You can either create a border with these herbs or place them with your vulnerable plants.
Although slugs can be incredibly troublesome in the garden, you can get rid of them naturally. We’ve listed the best natural slug repellents above. You’ll need to use a little trial-and-error to determine what works (and what doesn’t) for the slug you’re dealing with.